There’s a concept I’ve become aware of in my work as a teacher called “skying out.” It’s when you start talking about something, and then keep going deeper and deeper into it with more and more analysis and abstraction until, finally, you’ve gotten so “deep” into the matter that you’re not actually talking about it anymore — you’re talking about a completely self-indulgent abstraction, and the matter itself is forgotten. You’re so deep, you’ve broken through the ground and gone into the sky. It’s really common among privileged white dudes with Liberal Arts degrees, and I do it all the time. But when it happens when we’re discussing politics, it allows someone to care more about the constructed integrity of the idea than the idea itself — even if that integrity exists wholly independent of anything real or tangible that will affect peoples’ lives.
I wrote this you guys!